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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"When I'm not writing" with Jared R. Lopatin

Jared Lopatin

 Today I'm excited to host Jared R. Lopatin, author of The Outerlands, as part of his blog tour!  The Outerlands is Jared's latest YA novel, and is available today!


When I'm Not Writing Marie

When I’m not writing, I’m teaching Deaf students. That looks rather blithe written simply in one sentence, but there is an incredible amount of work and joy that goes into such an endeavor. Visuals are extremely important when you’re a teacher for the Deaf. In order to better help my students understand concepts, I film educational videos in my classroom in front of a green screen and then spend time that evening editing and captioning the video to make sure it’s clear, adding pictures and features to make sure it’s interesting. Of course, there’s grading and setting up assignments, but that’s usual teacher work. The exciting part of the school year comes between January and March when I start rehearsing for that year’s show. It’s a tough, but wonderful time when I get to work closely with my actors and develop them into a company. I actually just finished my fourth show with the high school a week ago – it was a farce. When you work with Deaf kids, there are extra elements that are added: scripts must be translated into American Sign Language, seating arrangements can have a huge impact on learning, educational videos must be signed instead of voiced-over, etc. There are a number of challenges that come with the job, but one of the biggest struggles is the same that every teacher faces: seeing bullying among teenagers. High school is a tough time for any student, Deaf or hearing. That’s a huge part of what inspired me to begin work on THE OUTERLANDS.  I thought that if kids read a book like this and saw that they weren’t the only ones who felt alone, it might help open a dialogue about what really goes on in high school. I know I would have appreciated it back when I was in high school. Perhaps, someday, I’ll get a chance to teach it in my classroom.


Thanks so much for visiting us, Jared! For more about Jared and his books, check out the following links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Goodreads


Here's the scoop on Jared:

Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jared fell in love with stories at a very young age. This love led him to major in English and Theatre, a decision that brought him many adventures, such as performing in Footloose, Cats, and West Side Story.

His first full novel, Rising Sign, was started backstage during a production of South Pacific in Indiana. Five years later, his debut novel was complete and he headed back to school for his Masters in Special Education. By the time he graduated, he had written the following two books in the trilogy, Ruling House and Returning Planet. He used his school experiences as a base for his standalone novel, Let's Play It By Ear. His newest novels, The Outerlands and The Good Witch are slated for release in 2015.

Jared currently lives in New York City with his cats, Benedick and Beatrice. He works during the day as a high school English teacher and theatre director at a Deaf school.

Read an excerpt:

Death is rarely a choice and, when it is, it’s usually a final choice. After all, for all that most people know, there are no choices after death. Alex certainly thought this would be the case. And he would have been right. If.


Such a small word – barely two letters – that encompasses so much. So much uncertainty. So much dependency. So much…possibility.

It was this very possibility that launched one Alexander Carroll Lewis into a Realm of curiosity. This special journey hinged on that two letter word – if. Even in the midst of all of the madness, he knew that was the root of everything. He traced the ifs back through from the recent to the past.

If he hadn’t swallowed the pills.

If he hadn’t bought the pills.

If he hadn’t fought back.

If he hadn’t met Jay.

If he hadn’t gone to that school.

If he hadn’t lived in that town.

If he hadn’t lived at all.

Strangely enough, or perhaps not strangely at all, it was this last if that prompted him toward the first if in the first place. He saw the latter as a solution for the former. What he was about to find out was that there was no solution to the last if because the last if wasn’t a problem that needed solving at all. Eventually, he found his way to the problem and the solution, but that won’t happen until the end of this story.

This is only the beginning.

Purchase: Amazon



Jared is giving away an Amazon or Barnes & Noble $10 gift card. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favourite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit  us? Please email me at marieharris725 (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!


Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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